Premier League Table 2014 Week 22: Reviewing Matchday 21's Most Impressive Teams

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2014

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Leighton Baines of Everton celebrates victory after the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Norwich City at Goodison Park on January 11, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Arsenal will enter Matchday 21's final contest needing a full three points if they want to retain the table's top spot. With the teams chasing them continuing to show consistently good form, the Gunners have no margin for error. 

That point was really driven home this past week. There were some big tests laid out in the fixtures for Week 21, and there were some impressive performances. 

I'll highlight the three teams that have impressed me most. First, have a look at the table: 

EPL Table
PlaceTeamGPWDLPts
1Manchester City21154247
2Chelsea21143446
3Arsenal20143345
4Liverpool21135342
5Everton21112841
6Tottenham Hotspur21125440
7Manchester United21116437
8Newcastle United21108333
9Southampton2187630
10Hull City21610523
11Aston Villa2069523
12Stoke City2159722
13Swansea City21510621
14West Bromwich Albion2148921
15Norwich City21511520
16Fulham21614119
17West Ham United21411618
18Cardiff City21411618
19Sunderland21412517
20Crystal Palace21514217

 

Everton 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  Gareth Barry of Everton celebrates his goal with Phil Jagielka during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Norwich City at Goodison Park on January 11, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Ge
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Everton entrenched themselves in fourth in the Premier League table with a dominant 2-0 win over Norwich City.

In that victory at Goodison Park, Everton controlled 62 percent of possession and fired off 23 shots to Norwich's 11. Gareth Barry led the way for an Everton side that was not at full strength: 

In his first season at the helm in Everton, Roberto Martinez has his team playing sound and consistent soccer. 

Still, it wasn't the performance in itself that impressed me the most this week. Everton was supposed to handle 15th-place Norwich at home. What is impressing me most with Everton is their consistent and sustainable success.

Everton have lost just two matches this year. No EPL team has lost fewer. The second loss came to Sunderland on Dec. 26 when goalkeeper Tim Howard picked up a red card. Since then, Everton have gone 2-1-0 in Premier League with the draw being an away effort against Stoke. 

Everton didn't let the Sunderland loss rattle their confidence or derail them from their mission. This focus and consistency will continue to serve them well. 

 

Manchester City

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park on January 12, 2014 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (P
Stu Forster/Getty Images

As things stand now, Manchester City are enjoying the top spot in the EPL table after sending Newcastle United to a 2-0 defeat at St. James' Park on Jan. 12. 

The match was closer than that score suggested. Manchester City didn't add the second goal until well into extra time. In all, it was a solid showing against eighth-place Newcastle. What makes it really impressive, however, is that it came on the road. 

The Citizens have been destroying teams at home this season, but on the road, they've suffered some letdowns. In fact, City is now just 5-2-4 as the away team in league action this campaign. 

If the Citizens can maintain this kind of consistency on the road, they have the potential to run away with the league title. Although, the injury news on Samir Nasri looms large: 

 

Sunderland

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  Adam Johnson of Sunderland celebrates scoring a hat trick during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Sunderland at Craven Cottage on January 11, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Downtrodden Sunderland picked up a boost in their bid to not only avoid the cellar of the Premier League table, but the bottom three altogether.

Sunderland destroyed Fulham 4-1 in Fulham's house this week. 

Although, embarrassing Fulham isn't all that hard of a task these days. Fulham has turned losing by multiple scores into an art form as the season has worn on. 

After a 6-0 loss to Hull City, however, Fulham have gone 1-1-0. That had to have Fulham looking at a home game against bottom-dwelling Sunderland as a golden opportunity to build momentum. Instead, Sunderland announced they were the team on the rise.

All of a sudden, this team has gone 2-3-1 in their their last six Premier League matches and are moving up the table. Adam Johnson is a big reason why: 

If Sunderland can keep up this pace, they should have little problem avoiding the bottom three.